Methodology and Book

I am currently writing a book about my project management methodology TrianglePM.

The problem with existing methodologies

When I first qualified as a PRINCE2 practitioner I grasped my certificate in my hand and walked towards the door. The examiner said “Well done, but don’t expect any of your clients to actually use PRINCE”.

I was shocked because PRINCE2 is an excellent project management system and I had just paid several hundred pounds in fees. If PRINCE2 is followed rigorously the results of projects should be predicable and the expected benefits achieved. My professional experience confirmed what the examiner had said. Even the Department for Trade and Industry which had paid for PRINCE2 to be developed did not use it properly for its projects. The problem I identified is that PRINCE2 is just too hard for people who are not professional project managers. The manual has over 300 pages and project managers can seldom persuade busy executives to take any interest in it.

Although PRINCE2 is rigorous it is not the most rigorous project management system. That honour must go to the Rational Unified Process (RUP) which gave me many insights into the requirements process.

In recent years agile methodologies such as SCRUM have become very trendy. Their great strength is that (contrary to its claims) very little executive input is required and the development team can be reasonably certain they will ship something. I characterise SCRUM as a project management methodology devised by developers for developers. Unsurprisingly it produces few guarantees that the product produced will actually make money. Historically there was no manual for SCRUM but in 2017 the SCRUM guide was published and it has 19 pages.

The challenge I took on was to create a project management methodology that combined the some of the requirements rigour of RUP, with the commercial control provided by PRINCE2 and the agility of SCRUM.

A new methodology – TrianglePM

All TrianglePM projects have at least 5 stages and at their centre they have the Iron Triangle.

TrianglePM Iron Triangle

TrianglePM Iron Triangle
TrianglePM Iron Triangle

Others have proposed project management triangles before, so why is the TrianglePM Iron Triangle better?

It is better because it is an accurate analogy for the challenge facing the project team: the Scope of the project is bounded by Time, Cost and the number of Defects permitted.

This has two consequences;

If Time, Cost and Defects are fixed then the Scope of the project cannot grow. In fact, in most cases we find it necessary to reduce scope as we run out of Time.

If we want to increase the scope we must either,

  • Allow more Time
  • Apply more resources (increase the Cost)
  • Allow more Defects by cutting quality assurance

The TrianglePM Iron Triangle allows all members of the project team including finance, sales and product owners to easily understand the challenges they face and the options available to them.


Every TrianglePM project has at least 5 stages

  • Start-up (SU)
  • Risk Reduction 1 (R1)
  • Risk Reduction 2 (R2)
  • Construction (C1)
  • Handover (H1)

I hoped that this has piqued your interest. If so please contact me and I will pleased to discuss it further.